Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Surname Widing with Nordland Roots. Hveding, Hviding, Hvide.

Comment from a Widing with Nordland roots -- Norway's Widings. A county in the north, that borders Sweden's Norrbotten County to the east, and Sweden's Vasterbotten County to the southeast.

 This version of the Widing tale of heroism: the Norwegian heroes save the Norwegian king from the Swedes, by hiding him in a wooden bench, not saving him from a bear in the woods.  In reward, the name Widing or Hveding or Hviding, instead of the patronymic naming otherwise customary. Thank you, far Widing.
"In my line of Widing's the last name was once spelt both Hveding and Hviding.  They were from the Nordland region of Norway, before that roots of the family were all over Scandinavia and mixed with Royalty through out Europe.  Anyway back to the Nordland region to chase down the idea of this history...

In Nordland there was a group of families that seemed set from the rest.  "There exists no fixed method for defining a Nordland family. Some basic factors are that they were socially established since the centuries before 1800, that they lived on the countryside, where they had typical burgher culture and professions, that they married each other, that they bore permanent family names, something that very few people had (ordinary people used patronyms), and that they often had roots outside Norway, mostly in Denmark and the Duchies."  And also, "Nordland families are often associated with the region's several trade seats. One is Lauvøya, which has been possessed by, among others, the Jentoft family and the Hveding family."  

Now it's interesting to note, these people are told to be traced back to the Benkestock noble family.  Now the part that made my ears perk up is that the origin of the family is similar to your Widing tale. "The origin of the family's name, allegedly meaning ‘tree-trunk seat’, has not been established. According to a myth, the family's founding father saved the King of Norway from Swedish soldiers by hiding him in a wooden bench, wherefore he was rewarded with noble status, name, and arms."

Now lets reach back a bit further and what do we find. The Hvide clan which presumably is where this all started.    I guess our people were "protectees of the non-black god Odin."  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nils Widing: Branch tracked 1796 or 1797 - 1947

Where does Nils Widing fit with our Philadelphia Widings? 
Photos from files, Philip Wilhelm Widing born 1867 m. Anna Matilda Osterlund in 1892, other Widings

Is that Anna Osterlund?

Who has time for all the ancestry sites?  We found a letter dated 1994, in our family miscellany file, from a Widing in Norwood, Massachusetts who was asking if we were related. The letter does not have a notation of a response, and her phone number is not in service.  Pending information after a letter to her old address, this is what she wrote: all dates have a question mark after.

1.  Nils Widing, born 1797; or perhaps June 7, 1793, in Kola, Varmland, Sweden

Nils married Johanna Maria Widerberg, born 1796 in Lysekil, Sweden

2.  Their son was Johannes (Johan) August Widing, born October 28, 1828 in Uddevalle, Sweden

Son Johannes married Maria Lovisa Nilsson, born 1842 in Karlstad, Sweden.  Johannes had a prior wife who died, and that first wife had a daughter, Ellen, before she died.  Maria Lovisa (see below) helped to raise this child.  Ellen migrated to California. She married a Norwegian, Gustav Thone, and had four children.

Johannes and Maria had four children:

3.1  Johan August Mauritz Widing, born 1866 in Goteborg, died 1910

3.2  Elin Maria Widing born 1870 in Goteborg, died 1958

3.3  Anna Amalia Lovisa Widing born 1873, or February 5, 1874,  in Goteborg, died 1961

3.4  Nils Gustav August Mauritz Widing born in Goteborg 1884, died 1947

She says she has all the descendants of the 3's in her data base.  She also notes that generation #8 of the descendants of Nils Widing began on May 25, 1993, with the birth of one Jennifer Emma in Boras, Sweden.

Start now with Anna Amalia:

Child Amalia married Per Albin or Alvin (Carlsson) Johnson, and he was born in 1871, died 1950

4  Amalia and Per had two children

4.1  Carl August Henry Johnson, born 1897 in Boston MA, died 1974

4.2  Elin Maria Alvina Johnson born 1899 in Boston MA, died 1983

Elin married Clarence Arnold Nathanael Johnson born 1901 in Seekonk MA, died 1973

5.  Elin and Clarence had one child Doris Louise Johnson born 1934 in Boston MA ______________

Dot dot dot

How did she reach us?  Jon Widing was listed either in the Swedish-American newspaper, Nordestjernan; or The New England Lutheran.  His birthdate is near hers, she being three years older.  "My grandmother (Anna Amalia Lovisa Widing Johnson)  told me that if I ever met anyone named Widing, it would have to be a relative."  A Widings slakt.  Another Widing from Illinois had told our source that her husband's grandparent had told him the same thing.

Naming:  Surnames change.  Here is one who took the name Widing when he "joined the army."  Why? Who was he before?

Other Widings are in Worcester/Holden area in MA, Manchester NH,
Widings' Sweden Roots, reverse side notations, Swedish Roots

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vikings and Cardamom. Scandinavian cooking.

Cardamom is an expensive spice -- each fruit pod with the seed inside has to be taken from the flower stalk by hand.  The pods ripen at different speeds, requiring close watching. Then dry and sell as they mature. It was native to India and Sri Lanka, and used in the Middle East to flavor coffee among other uses, including medicinal. So how did this get to Scandinavia? and in the delicious spicy coffee cakes and breads?

Vikings, says Natural Remedies of Arabia, in Saudi Aramco World magazine, Sept-Oct 2006, online at  They discovered it a millennia ago -- this probably would be the Norse Vikings, as I understand Swedish Vikings tended to go inland and down through Russia to the Black Sea, but the Swedes could well arrived farther south as well?

Others identify the 16th-17th Century Dutch as the bringers of the cardamom, see sites at   

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pan-Archeology, Pan-Religion. New and Old World. Old Uppsala; Cahokia; Cultural Commonality

Similarities in monuments globally, symbols here and there. There are mound-building burial peoples, resembling the structures in Scandinavia and particularly Old Uppsala, in the Western Hemisphere, and not just the Maya and others in Central and South America.  See the National Geographic's Mississippian World article, era 800 - 1050 - 1100 ACE ff; Cahokia, America's Forgotten City, at

1.  Cahokia is the largest of many agricultural communities that, apparently suddenly -- little gradual build-up -- sprang up in the Southern and Southwestern United States. Cahokia was a full city.  Long used as a mere source of dirt, wearing down rather than excavations showed places of apparent human sacrifice or execution, some 53 women, a high-status man, and four men, or would that just be a burial, ritual, buildings on top of the mounds. Some were some 30 feet high, some 300 feet long. See  The name relates only to a French settlement there in the 17th Century.

2.  Monk's Mound, as it is called, covers some 14 acres and that makes it larger in footprint than the Great Pyramid at Khufu. Find images of it at  Artistic pottery design, figures, artifacts.

Someday, an expert will explore similarities in religious beliefs globally, symbols here and there.  These comments from readers were attached to a reference to Odin in another blog, and I reproduce them here, as a Pan-Religious idea.  

"It [the concept of Odin] has very little to do with Sweden apart from that Odin incarnated again and came there. Odin is God.

The very silly propaganda that are being posted and planted everywhere [that Sigge Fridulfsson [early leader of migration from Caucasus to Sweden, and first King, is a man only] is a brainwash. Odin is the God of this world AND he has been reincarnated several times with different names. He is Allfather and all that comes with that title. There is no other "God" than Godan."


And the other reader's response:

"The question doesn't refer to if Odin was a God, but whether Sigge was a man pretending to be a God or if he was a God in mortal form. Then it asks, if he was a man pretending to be a God, how was he successful in convincing others."


Monday, June 20, 2011

Helsingborg - Oresund Ferry to Helsingor, Denmark


The ferry port, at the narrowest point between Sweden and Denmark, starts a passage of about 20 minutes. With delays in Goteborg, no reservation is needed for this commuter ferry across to Denmark.  The waterway is the Oresund, between the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea, heading for the North Sea, and across to Denmark.We enjoy transportation and construction workers in shorts in Scandinavia and other countries. Calves international.

Jaws. Maw. Fear not. Also note the Scandinavian workman's suit, in short pants.  These are also welcome sights on roadwork sites, construction.  We found them in Northern Germany as well as Scandinavia. We did not whistle, although most times we would have been justified in showing some appreciation.

How quiet? Very quiet.

On the other side: Helsingor, Denmark; and Castle Kronborg just outside, on the point; and Shakespeare's vision of old Kronborg, an imagined Elsinore.

Goteborg - Gothenburg, Emigration, Ernst Taube, Lilla Bommen

Goteborg.  Pronounce it "Yutebori" and you might be close.  Maybe. Goteborg, Gothenburg, the city for many meant the leaving place. Many spellings. Aim for the water. There is a market area nearby, with the umbrellas, flowers, produce. Quick park, intending to be right back after seeing the market. Quiet day, no crowds. Then see a ferris wheel - what is there?

I.  Goteborg then.  Goteborg and Immigration - Emigration 

Think Wheels of fortune.

Here, the ferris wheel at the Gothenburg docks, at the mouth of the Gota River, where the ships to America and other places filled with seekers and sailed off.

II.  Gothenburg then. Emigration

To America

There are more Swedes and Swedish descendants in America than there are Swedes in Sweden.

The Swedish government fostered a settlement in America in 1638, with the expertise of explorer Peter Minuit, from the Netherlands.  The colony was located at the Delaware Bay, and named Christina, ir Fort Christina (now Wilmington DE) with 50 passengers on two ships from the Swedish West India Company:  the Fogel Grip and the Kalmar Nyckel, see,_Delaware,_United_States.  In 1640, another town, New Sweden, was settled. But in 1638, the Dutch had already settled what is now New Castle. The Werelate site details the land grabs, purchases, shenanigans, jockeying and fights, of interest maybe only to those of us who used to live there and know the names.

Enterprising people, the Swedes.  They soon joined the fur and tobacco trade and did well.  That angered the Dutch and the English, however, who were more firmly ensconced in their colonies. The nearby Dutch settlement, for example, was huge: from Staten Island (New Amsterdam) all the way up the Hudson River to Albany. The Swedes ended up outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outsettled.

The Dutch Peter Stuyvesant, then governor of the now New York (then New Amsterdam) brought his Armada up the Delaware and took Christina by force.  The year was 1655.  See 

Visit Delaware today and find Christiana Hundred, a "Hundred" being a form of land division, like a county, perhaps. Go to Philadelphia and find Old Swedes' Church, Gloria Dei. They lost the colony but not the heritage. The next wave of immigrants arrived in the 19th Century, with population pressures, economic problems and agricultural disasters in Sweden at the time. During the period 1820-1920, a million Swedes emigrated to the United States. See

III.  Gothenburg now. Lilla Bommen Marina

Lilla Bommen Marina - and the Lipstick Building. Just over there, past the ferris wheel. The Skanska Scraper, or Skyscraper built in 1989.  The address:  Lilla Bommen 1.

A glimpse of that requires a closer look. Leave the amusement area and the docks, and walk that way. Enjoy the ships. This is also known as the Guest Harbor. The building is the Lappstiftet.

Evert Taube.

Culture and beloved figures

Find Evert Taube 1890-1976 there at the waterfront, the troubadour of the docks. Hear the jaunty songs at
He was raised on an island. His father ran the lighthouse. Tired of school, he ran off to Stockholm and when his father found out, went to sea rather than return to school. He settled in Argentina in 1910, did a variety of jobs, then returned to Sweden in the WWI years, becoming a marine (Sweden had armed forces although was neutral).  He started writing songs, and recording when acoustical systems emerged. He remained in Sweden for WWII years, and is known for the sensitivity of his lyrics, see bio.

Evert Taube, Goteborg docks, Sweden (Gothenburg)

We found another expressive statue of Evert Taube, in Stockholm, in the Old Town, Gammla Stan.

Most everything is on the water in Stockholm, since is mostly all islands.  See Evert Taube there, another waterfront, at

IV.  Realities.

The Lipstick Building does dominate. It is an excellent navigation device, for getting back to your car.

Amble, amble.

Oh, rats. A ticket. What next.  FN 1


FN 1  Quick! Look up the police station on the GPS to pay it fast with nice crisp bills  -- ferry leaving for Denmark soon. Find the police station.

Go in with money and apologies, so sorry, time just got away.  Sorry, lady, we don't take payment here.  Try XYZ.  Find XYZ. Another police station.

Go in. Hold out now-damp bills. Sorry, lady, we don't take payment on Sundays. Come back Monday. But we are leaving! So sorry, so sad, hope you enjoyed your stay. Have to pay in person and get receipt because cash just disappears in the boiler room.

Recourse:  Tickets. If you get a ticket in the country where you rented your car, the rental car company maybe can pay for you.  Leave the money with them and get your receipt. But we rented in Denmark.  The rental car company would not pay for Sweden, currency issues, etc.

You are stuck with a wire transfer from your own bank.  That is expensive, so hope that by the time you read this, Sweden progresses to Italy.

In Italy, if you get a ticket, the notice will direct you to the bad people website and you can put it right on your credit card.  Zoom.  Done. Receipts, all covered, thank you.

That does not resolve, however, whether the ticket was proper. Where cameras are involved, it is hard to say.  I got a letter nine months after our return saying I was filmed in the bus lane at such and such a square in Milan. Was I? I do know I was lost the entire time. There are a million squares in Milan. Were they writing the same letter to everybody in the picture and nobody else would pay? Who knows. Pay anyway.

Tickets. Trust and move on.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kviberg Cemetery: Neutrality is not Disinterest; or Isolation

"Neutral" Nations in War
The Traces in Kviberg Cemetery, Gothenberg (Goteborg) 

Find here the name, rank, branch of service, ship if a sailor, the unknowns, soldier of the great war, sailor, pilot; designations for so many whose bodies washed ashore, crashed.  Most from the First World War appear to be sailors. after the naval Battle of Jutland off Denmark in 1916.  There was also the wreck of the HM Drifter Catspaw, en route from  Talinn, Estonia, to Copenhagen, and lost off Oland Island 1919. It was a minesweeper and carried out coastal patrols.  There were no survivors. See

From the Second World War, most appear to be pilots who crashed before or after bombing raids in Germany or German territories.  Graves had been scattered, buried in isolation where they fell or were found, until 1961 when arrangements were made for relocation here. In 1976, a further body was found in Lappland, a pilot from WWII, and brought here. See

German soldiers are also buried here, with level markers and a central stone.

Sweden's government adopted formal neutrality during World War I and World War II, but neutrality is seldom neutral. Even Alfred Nobel, pacifist, creator of the great Nobel Peace Prize, invented the dynamite that has killed so many, in peaceful applications as well as in war.

Neutrality is not a comfortable topic in Sweden. In the military museum in Lidkoping, Sweden is even shown as a participant, not a neutral, as though it always supported the Entente or the Allies at heart. Not necessarily so. A 2007 academic paper about Sweden's armed neutrality in World War I,  by an outsider, may be a good starting point, rather than reading a country's own accounts. A Sim, Ky-Chiu, taking part in an International Program, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy wrote this WHKMLA Paper at

The paper confirms that Swedes were ambivalent about criticizing Germany, whose political structure, military and economic progress they admired. It was mainly the "free thinkers" and "free traders" who were inspired instead by Great Britain. Sweden had commercial interests, and long associations, with the countries at war, especially Germany. And Sweden benefited greatly economically by its position of neutrality. Some would say they had little choice, being so close to the German forces, and seeing the Russian abuses of the Finns.  See paper.  Still, never bombed, it could retain its resources despite hardships when food shortages resulted from later blockades, and post-war flu struck.

In the early years, however, Sweden prospered. Sweden. Armed neutrality. Sweden mined the shipping lanes giving access to the inner Baltic, a step favoring Germany and hindering the Entente fleet in WWI.

Was it a Swedish mine that sank the HM Drifter Catspaw, bodies washed ashore here?  See above.  Sweden did not act neutrally. It also kept importing goods from Germany; and facilitated communications between Germany and others, to further German goals. See the paper; and comment about the Lidkoping Military Museum, where ambivalences are carefully avoided. Then again, we would probably do the same.  Our leaders decide what gets told, just as theirs.

Back to Anderson, unstraightened, not highlighting the wood carving for the name, but showing how it stands out among the other markers.  There is only a rimmed outline for the grave itself.

Many here from the Commonwealth were Australian or New Zealanders, known as ANZAC.  An annual commemoration takes place in the spring. See

The marker next to Anderson:  perhaps these are not military after all? On this side? Several people are here, and it looks like serial numbers?